The Dark Knight Rises
(Warner Bros., $29)
The final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was “a hugely ambitious mix of eye candy and brain food,” said the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. When the super-villain Bane stirs class revolt in Gotham, our masked hero wins because he has the better weapons, “not the best argument.”
Beasts of the Southern Wild
(20th Century Fox, $30)
Six-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis “radiates an amazing gravity and poise” in this “strikingly original” movie, said Entertainment Weekly. Set in a “dirt-poor” community in the Louisiana Delta, the film uses touches of magical realism to tell the story of an offbeat family getting by.
Tommy Lee Jones stars opposite Meryl Streep in this surprisingly mature comedy about a couple’s attempt to reconnect, said The Washington Post. Despite “a too-pat third act,” the film remains remarkable for portraying sex as simply an expression of intimacy between two imperfect people.